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NACUBO Statement on Tax Reform


National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) President and CEO John Walda today issued the following statement regarding the release of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its potential impacts on higher education institutions, students, and professionals.

“NACUBO has serious concerns with a number of provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Many provisions in this legislation would result only in making colleges and universities less financially secure and driving up costs rather than boosting affordability.

  • Nonprofit colleges and universities are tax-exempt because of their charitable mission: to teach, to create and advance new knowledge through research, and to serve their communities. This bill delivers a disproportionate and unprecedented hit on the tax-exempt sector, as well as students and families. Part-time students who take classes to acquire new job skills will no longer be able to claim an education tax credit.
  • The proposed excise tax on college and university endowments will result in fewer dollars available for scholarships, student services, research, and college and university operating expenses. 
  • The provisions eliminating sections of the tax code that allow for employer-provided education benefits establish a new tax on an important benefit for many middle and low-income employees: tuition assistance.
  • Doubling the standard deduction without creating another charitable giving incentive will have a significant and damaging impact on gifts to colleges and universities that rely on giving to enhance their ability to provide scholarship aid and deliver on education and research expectations.
  • Eliminating access to the private activity bond market will increase borrowing costs and will likely result in diminished investments in infrastructure. Colleges use these bonds to acquire, construct, and renovate infrastructure such as hospitals, academic buildings, residence halls, athletic facilities, energy plants, and more.

Collectively, these and other provisions will likely have long-ranging, detrimental effects on both revenue streams and expenditures at colleges and universities, negatively impacting the students they serve and professionals they employ.

NACUBO supports the goal of a simplified tax system that seeks to grow the economy and helps all Americans to prosper and succeed. Higher education in all its forms plays a key role in that success and we urge legislators to modify the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in such a way that leaves our unparalleled system of postsecondary education stronger, not weaker.”


Katy McCreary

Director, Public Relations